How to Enroll In a Medical Assistant School near Lenox Georgia
Once you have made a decision to become a part of the gratifying profession of healthcare and enroll in a medical assistant school near Lenox GA, it’s time to choose a school that will furnish the appropriate training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? Most future students begin by evaluating the medical assistant schools that are nearest to their residences and then lean toward those that have the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are extremely important such things as accreditation, job assistance and internship programs are important issues as well. You might choose to take a look at several online medical assistant programs as an alternative as well (more on that later). The bottom line is that prior to selecting a program you must complete your due diligence and compare all pertinent qualifications of the colleges you are evaluating. And to help you with that task, we have included several questions that you should ask all of the colleges on your short list. But prior to starting that review, let’s briefly talk about the responsibilities of a medical assistant and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant
The role of a medical assistant can be varied as well as challenging. Essentially their duty is ensure that the Lenox GA hospitals, clinics and other medical care institutions where they work operate efficiently. Depending on the size or type of facility, they may be more of a clinical assistant, an administrative assistant, or in smaller practices both. They are tasked with providing direct support to the physicians, nurses and other health professionals but can also be found performing duties at the front desk or in an office. Some of the many duties of a medical assistant include:
- Filling out insurance forms and submitting claims
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Weighing and taking patients vital signs
- Collecting blood and other fluid and tissue specimens
- Preparing rooms and instruments for doctors
- Giving general support during exams and procedures
Although medical assistants may carry out almost any task they are authorized to under Georgia law, some elect to specialize in a specific area and attain certification. Two of the options offered are for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) and the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Medical Assistant Training
In contrast to many other healthcare practitioners, medical assistants are not mandated to become certified, licensed, or to have a college degree. However, many Lenox GA health care employers prefer to hire graduates of an accredited medical assistant training program (we’ll cover accreditation later ) that are certified. There are essentially two options offered for a formal education. The first and shortest route to becoming a medical assistant is to acquire a certificate or diploma. These programs usually take about one year to finish, a few as little as 6 to 9 months. They are designed to teach the basics of medical assisting and prepare graduates for entry level positions. The second alternative is to acquire an Associate Degree, which are typically 2 year programs available at junior and community colleges together with vocational and technical schools. They are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma or certificate programs, and include liberal arts courses in addition to the medical assistant courses. They usually have a clinical element requiring an internship with a local healthcare facility. Associate Degrees are often a pre-requisite for and credits can be transferred to a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Assistant Studies or a related field.
Online Medical Assistant Colleges
There are numerous accredited medical assistant programs offered online too. They are a good choice for students who might not have time to go to classes on campus but could work them in if attended at home. This is a particularly good option for students who continue to work full-time while pursuing their degree or certificate. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs have lower tuitions than the more conventional on-campus options. Ancillary expenses such as for commuting, textbooks and school supplies might be minimized as well. Just remember that all requirements for clinical training or internships must still be met, but they can typically be completed in Lenox GA area health care facilities. If you can earn a degree without the formal structure of going to supervised classes on campus, then this method of receiving your training might be the ideal option for you. With the online lessons and the clinical training, everything necessary to attain proficiency to perform as a medical assistant is furnished.
Certification Programs for Medical Assistants
As earlier stated, becoming certified is not a legal mandate, but is a good option for those who wish to boost their careers. Not only will it help in attaining a job after graduation, but it might also enhance preliminary salary negotiations. A number of possible Lenox GA medical employers simply will not hire a medical assistant that has not attained accredited formal training or certification. Among the most popular and possibly the most respected certification is the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) provided by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To qualify to take the CMA exam, an applicant must be a graduate or will be graduating within 30 days from an accredited medical assistant program. Additional certifications are offered also, including the CCMA and the CMAA that we discussed earlier which are provided by the NHA.
Concerns to Ask Medical Assistant Programs
Before you can start examining your medical assistant school alternatives, you must determine which kind of credential you want to attain, and if you want to attend classes on-campus or online at home. Once those choices have been made, you can start the process of comparing medical assistant schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students confine their searches to the colleges that are closest to Lenox GA with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant qualifications, they are by no means the only ones. There are a number of additional considerations that you need to look at when evaluating schools. To assist you with that process, below are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Medical Assistant College Accredited? There are many great reasons to make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited. First, accreditation helps ensure that the training you receive will be both comprehensive and of the highest quality. Second, if you intend to become certified, you must complete an accredited program. Two of the accepted organizations for accreditation are the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). If your program is not accredited by one of these organizations, you will not be qualified to take the CMA examination. Additionally, if you intend on applying for a student loan or financial aid, they are often not available for non-accredited programs. And last, as previously mentioned, a number of potential Lenox GA employers will not hire a medical assistant who has not graduated from an accredited college.
What is the Program’s Passage Percentage? Most of the accredited medical assistant schools develop their programs to prep students to pass one or more certification examinations. First, you need to find out which of the certifications the programs you are reviewing are preparing their students to take. If you are planning on taking the CMA for instance, then naturally you will need to choose a program concentrating on that certification. Second, find out what the program’s passage rate is for the certification and compare it to the national average. Doing this is just one of the methods to help assess the quality of a school’s program. Obviously programs with lower rates are ones that you will prefer to avoid.
Which Credentials are Offered? As we covered earlier, there are generally two routes to acquiring medical assistant training. You can select a diploma or certificate program and get entry level training in the shortest amount of time, starting at just 6 months, although the average is about one year. Or you can elect to obtain an Associate Degree and receive a broader education that will take approximately 2 years to finish in a community college or trade school. Whichever program you choose to enroll in, verify that the schools you are considering provide the kind of program you have an interest in.
Are Internships Provided? Many medical assistant schools offer internship programs with Lenox GA area medical care providers. They are an excellent means to obtain hands-on practical experience and training. They may also help students establish relationships within the Lenox health care community. And as an added perk, they are an asset on resumes and for job interviews too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting that first job can be a daunting task for medical assistant school graduates unless they obtain a little assistance from a job placement program. Verify that the schools you are evaluating offer job placement assistance in the Lenox GA area and ask what their placement rate is. If a school has a higher job placement rate for its students, it affirms that it has an excellent reputation within the health care community. It also suggests that it has a wide network of employers to help place students in positions.
How Big are the Classes? Class size may be an indicator of how much individual attention you will get throughout your training. Small classes and classes with a higher teacher to student ratio are more likely to furnish increased access to instructors and face to face interaction. If possible, try to sit in on a couple of classes before selecting a college to see what the teaching atmosphere is like and just how much attention the students get.
Is Class Scheduling Convenient? If you plan on attending a medical assistant program while you continue working full-time, it’s imperative that the program you select provides classes that accommodate your schedule. If you have to go to classes at night or on weekends near Lenox GA, make sure that those times are offered. You may be able to fit your classes in more conveniently with an online program, but you will also need to schedule all internships or clinical training that might be required. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up classes that you may have to miss due to illness, work or family issues.
Enrolling in a Medical Assistant Program near Lenox Georgia?
If you are considering attending a medical assistant school in the Lenox GA area, following is some background information that may be both interesting and useful regarding your future campus location.
Lenox is located in northern Cook County at 31°16′N 83°28′W / 31.267°N 83.467°W / 31.267; -83.467 (31.2712, -83.4654).U.S. Route 41 passes through the center of the town as Robinson Street, and Interstate 75 passes through the west side of the town, with access from Exit 49. Tifton is 13 miles (21 km) to the north, and Adel, the Cook County seat, is 10 miles (16 km) to the south.
As of the census of 2010, there were 889 people, 351 households, and 237 families residing in the town. The population density was 717.0 people per square mile (276.8/km²). There were 405 housing units at an average density of 326.6 per square mile (126.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 58.61% White, 38.02% African American, 0.22% Native American, 2.36% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.81% of the population.
There were 351 households out of which 27.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.3% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.2% were non-families. 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.13.
Pick the Right Medical Assistant College Lenox GA
It’s imperative to start your new career on the right foot by enrolling in a medical assistant school that will furnish the right training. Regardless if you’re objective is to begin a career in medical care starting out as a medical assistant or to practice medical assistance as your life long career, you need to get the right information on available programs before making your selection. There are such a large number of colleges providing training these days that you can make a selection based on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. And as we have addressed in this article, make sure that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the CAAHEP. This is particularly critical if you intend on taking the CMA certification examination. You came to this site initially because you had an interest in Medical Assistant Community College. But regardless of the type of credential that you plan to earn or if you have made a decision to attend either an on-campus or online school, don’t forget to ask the questions we have provided so you can compare programs and make an informed decision. And by picking the ideal program you can subsequently start a fulfilling career as a medical assistant in Lenox GA.
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